US says won’t allow Afghan soil to be used against Pakistan, foreign secy tells Senate body


ISLAMABAD: Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua on Tuesday informed the Senate’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs that US has assured Pakistan that no group, including Indian spy agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), would be allowed to launch attacks on Pakistani soil from across the western border with Afghanistan.

Participants of the Senate meeting, which was chaired by Nuzhat Sadiq, were also briefed by Janjua on Pakistan-US ties in general.

The foreign secretary informed senators that US officials had been briefed on RAW’s activities in Afghanistan, as well as on the turbulent socio-political situation in Kashmir. She also stated that the US had been offered a mediatory role for better ties between Pakistan and India.

Janjua also told senators that Pakistan had rejected US objections to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, after which US officials had “recognised” that their objections to development projects in “controversial areas” were incorrect.

The foreign secretary said that Islamabad had informed Washington that all areas of its territory had been cleared of terrorists. However, if the US provided actionable intelligence regarding the presence of terrorists in Pakistan, Islamabad would take immediate action, she added.

Janjua reiterated that no terror outfit was functioning in Pakistan, but operating from across the Pak-Afghan border.

“In Afghanistan, 45 percent of the country is not under government control, which is why the Haqqani network and other terror groups do not need a haven in Pakistan,” she said, repeating the state’s new refrain on cross-border terrorism.

The foreign secretary also revealed that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had, during army chief Gen Qamar Bajwa’s Kabul visit, expressed a desire to receive trade from India through Pakistan. Gen Bajwa, however, had said that India should make a formal request in this regard as no overture to this effect had been made to Pakistan yet, she said.

Responding to a question, she said that Pakistan’s foreign policy was being developed in consultation with various stakeholders.

To another question, Janjua told the committee that after British High Commissioner Thomas Drew was summoned over ‘malicious’ anti-Pakistan slogans on London cabs, the ads were removed.

However, when a similar campaign in Geneva was taken up with Swiss authorities, the request had been ignored as the Swiss government said that everyone in their country had the right to free speech.


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